Acorn, the RiNo restaurant from the duo behind Oak at Fourteenth, received an abundance of pre-opening media attention, "both a blessing and a curse," according to 5280 Magazine restaurant critic Stacey Brugeman. In Acorn's case, the eatery lives up to all the hype, with Brugeman penning a four-star review. She appreciated the service and staff's attention to numerous details, from swapping out glasses for sparkling water to flatware replacement between courses. Brugeman also praised the texture of the creamy burrata cheese dish, served with two renditions of parsnips and "topped with shavings of fresh black truffle and fried bits of bread." Though a few faults were pointed out, Brugeman overall deems Acorn one of the city's best restaurants.
Change is a good thing at pizzeria Pantaleone's, which underwent a makeover on Gordon Ramsay's "Kitchen Nightmares" TV show, according to Cafe Society. The episode detailing last summer's transformation recently aired, and dining critic Gretchen Kurtz determines that the effort was the right choice in her most recent review. An update to the decor provides a more modern look, and "the food is better too, much fresher, lighter and more responsibly portioned." Kurtz also specifically noted that "none of the pizzas required the old blot-with-a-napkin trick." Desserts have been reimagined, but could still use some tweaks.
Though you "don't go to brewpubs for fine dining," LowDown Brewery + Kitchen is an example of the gap closing between high-end beer offerings and food that merely serves as "stomach liner," says William Porter in his latest review for the Denver Post, which earned the Golden Triangle spot two-and-a-half stars. This brewpub "boasts a menu that matches the quality of its malt beverages," with standout items including the Verona sandwich (pancetta, goat cheese, dried apricots, balsamic reduction), margherita pizza and the Nero salad. Though the combination of sweet fennel sausage meatballs and Fresno chile sauce was a miss, Porter recommends saving room for the rotating desserts and enjoyed the Treason, an English pale ale.
· Bearing Fruit: Acorn 
· Change Is Good at Pantaleone's [Westword]
· At Lowdown, Good Things Are Brewing [DP]
· A Handy Dining Guide for the RiNo Neighborhood [EDen]
· The 38 Essential Denver Restaurants, April '14 [EDen]